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24 September 2014

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Portishead at Grumpy Man (Pic: Orynthia Thomas)
Portishead play new songs at Grumpy Man

Portishead play new songs

Portishead have performed two new songs at a small unannounced Bristol city centre gig. The songs were played by Geoff Barrow, Adrian Utley and Beth Gibbons at the Grumpy Man DJ night at Mr Wolfs on Sunday.


  • Portishead are: Beth Gibbons, Geoff Barrow & Adrian Utley
  • Their albums are: Dummy (1994), Portishead (1997) & Roseland NYC Live (1998)
  • Some of their most famous songs include: Sour Time, Glory Box and Wandering Star.
  • Their last live performance was for a tsunami relief charity in 2005

The set was their first live gig for two years and represents their first new material since the 90s.

Fan Hector told us: "Portishead main-man Geoff Barrow had been advertised as a guest Grumpy Man for the night.

"However not even the venue management had any idea what was really going to occur - they even charged Beth Gibbons entry as she came in to do her sound check!

"After a couple of hours of eclectic sadcore classics from the likes of Tom Waits and Joy Division, Geoff and Portishead guitarist Adrian Utley began to play 'Wandering Star' from the first Portishead album - Geoff playing bass.

"A few bars in Geoff picked up the mike and asked 'Anyone here know how to sing?' At this point Beth walked on stage and started singing."

Hector added that the people who attended the gig looked as though they had seen aliens:

"The second song was brand new, presumably from the forthcoming album. Rarely have I seen a room full of people all wear exactly the same facial expression, but when I looked at the crowd everyone had their mouths gaping and eyes wide open as if they were witnessing an alien landing. It was wonderful.

"The new song was completely gorgeous, carried by Beth's vocals and with very low-key instrumentation. They didn't say what is was called."

The new songs were confirmed on Geoff Barrow's Myspace blog which thanked the people there for "the response to the live stuff".

He added: "Sorry we didn't tell everyone about the gig but it's good to do things like that every now and again".

Were you at the Grumpy Man DJ night on Sunday - did you hear Portishead's new songs? What did you think? Did you take pictures? Get in touch with us.

last updated: 27/02/07
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Spencer Tilley
A great surprise, still sounding timeless as ever making it a pretty unbelieveable evening, loved the low key feel of it all. Long live Grumpyman

Miss Beaux
Great club, but please no more publicity! We don't want everyone to know about it. The songs were beautiful in their raw and simple state. It left you wanting more. And confused to why they don't play more often. I also had the added bonus of standing next to Liz Frazer from the Cocteau Twins. A magical event.

Alan Heeshaw
I was there. It was as cool as it sounds! Beths voice was incredible. Loved the whole night - Geoffs DJ set was fabulous as well :)

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